There We Go Again

In their surprisingly short history, presidential debates have never lived up to our expectations—yet they’ve always proved invaluable

In the coming months George W. Bush, John Kerry, and their running mates will submit themselves to a relatively new ritual in American presidential politics: a series of face-to-face debates.

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Is Our Civic Life Really In Decline?

VOTER TURNOUT MAY BE DOWN IN RECENT YEARS, BUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE COMMON CITIZEN HAS GROWN TO FAR SURPASS ANYTHING THE FOUNDING FATHERS EVER DREAMED OF

If you look at the decline in voter turnout since 1960 or the steady decrease in young people’s interest in electoral politics, it is easy to get the idea that America’s democratic experiment stands on increasingly shaky ground. Voter turnout fell from 63 percent in 1960 to 49 percent in 1996. In national surveys 58 percent of college freshmen in 1966 said they considered it important to keep abreast of political affairs; by 1996 only 29 percent felt that way. Has our era broken trust with a great heritage?

 
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The Carpetbaggers

As Hillary Clinton campaigns for a New York Senate seat, she’d do well to study the career of another effective outsider

New Yorkers knew they were in for a long, hot summer this year when Hillary Rodham Clinton made an early political foray into their state and was greeted by demonstrators whom the state GOP had urged to dress up as blackflies. One of Mrs. Clinton’s aides had made the mistake of remarking that the First Couple would not be vacationing in the Adirondacks because of the flies.Read more »

Who Really Elects The Presidents?

In the aftermath of the 1972 election we believe professional politicians might find the thoughtful essay that follows worth a little study; it might save them time and money in 1976. The author, Mr. Marshman, a former journalist with Life and a sometime screenwriter, has been a successful advertising man for a good many years and is currently with the D’Arcy-MacManus & Masius agency. As good ad men must be, he is a student of people in the mass.Read more »